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Cayuse Prairie administrator selected as superintendent of the year for Northwest Montana

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 18, 2022 12:00 AM

Cayuse Prairie School Superintendent and Principal Amy Piazzola has been chosen by her peers as the 2021-22 Superintendent of the Year for the Northwest Montana region.

“I feel very humbled by it because I know the great work that everybody does in the valley and beyond in Northwest Montana,” Piazzola said.

The distinction was awarded by the Northwest Montana Association of School Superintendents. This region covers Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders County. She was selected for the award based on her leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement.

Piazzola has been at the helm of Cayuse Prairie since 2012.

“I love my work at Cayuse Prairie School. I have an amazing staff that truly care about students and that is what's most important,” Piazzola said.

The school, which serves about 290 students in grades kindergarten through eighth K-8, is part of a tight-knit community.

“The Cayuse community is unique in that we are like one big family. We support, watch over, and help each other in any way we can. I feel so fortunate and blessed to be charged with being the educational leader of this community,” she said. “It takes a village to raise a child and I'm glad I have the Cayuse teachers, staff and community supporting each other in this endeavor.”

Piazzola holds a bachelor of science in elementary education from the University of Montana Western and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Rocky Mountain College. In May 2017, she was inducted into the University of Montana Western’s Education Hall of Fame for teaching, service, leadership and innovation.

PIAZZOLA BEGAN began her career in education as a fifth-grade teacher in Nevada from 1993 to 2000. She returned to Montana to teach in Noxon Public Schools from 2000 to 2012.

Saying she’s been drawn to leadership roles since she was younger and when Piazzola got into education knew she could serve in that capacity as an administrator.

“I felt inspired. In 2010, I really started to think about it. What are my options; what am I going to do; and how am I going to do it,” she said, when her friend graduated with a master’s in educational leadership from Rocky Mountain.

“It seemed to be the best hands-on experience,” she said, and after enrolling, “I loved every minute of it.”

Serving in a dual role as both administrator and principal comes with a variety of responsibilities.

“It's a job I take very seriously and one I pour my heart and soul into,” she said.

As a regional superintendent of the year, Piazzola will be considered for the state superintendent of the year distinction.

Evergreen School District Superintendent Laurie Barron, who was the 2020-21 Montana Superintendent of the Year and serves as president of the Northwest Montana Association of School Superintendent, said Piazzola is “a fine representative of the great work happening in schools across northwest Montana.”

“She continues to provide professional, knowledgeable, thoughtful, consistent, and kind leadership not only in her district but in our region as well,” Barron said. “I am honored to call Amy my colleague and friend and grateful to see her honored for her continued commitment to serving staff and students.”

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 406-758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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